Aidan Read and Matthew Solomon have won the first race of the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup in the #94 Wineurasia Motorsport Ligier JSP3 at the Sepang International Circuit. Ollie Millroy in the #91 Team AAI ADESS 03 was 2nd, and the #67 PRT Racing Ginetta LMP3, driven by Charlie Robertson and Ate de Jong was 3rd. Neric Wei and Sebastien Mailleux took the CN class win in the #68 PS Racing Ligier JS 53, and Anthony Chan and Dominic Ang won the GTCup class in the #28 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC.
The conditions for the morning’s two qualifying sessions were tricky, with the track being quite damp, but not enough to be declared wet, but this did equalise out the field and showed how close the competition would be for the races that were to come. Ollie Millroy, now racing alone this weekend after Junsan Chen got stomach flu on Friday, took pole for the first race in the #91 Team AAI ADESS 03, with a best lap of 2:20.057. 2nd overall was Neric Wei in the #68 PS Racing Ligier JS 53, really showing off the power of the CN car. On pole for the GTCup class was Robert Webb in the #11 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC.
In the second session, Matthew Solomon continued his work from yesterday and took pole with a best time of 2:18.852 in the #94 Wineurasia Motorsport Ligier JSP3. 2nd on the grid would be Sebastien Mailleux in the CN entry, the #68 PS Racing Ligier JS 53, who managed to set a best lap of 2:21.743, before pushing a bit too hard and ending in the gravel, bringing out the red flag to end the session a couple of minutes early. The GTCup pole went to Dominic Ang in the #28 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC, who will be starting 4th overall on Sunday with a time of 2:28.881.
The first race of the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup took place under a hot early afternoon sun. Charlie Robertson in the #67 PRT Racing Ginetta LMP3 got a good start and made it quickly up into first, having started from 3rd, whereas pole sitter Ollie Millroy dropped to third, and the #94 with Aidan Read made his way into 2nd.
The first half of the race saw the leaders pair off, with the #67 PRT Racing Ginetta LMP3 and the #94 Wineurasia Motorsport Ligier JSP3 fighting for first, and a few seconds behind them, the other two LMP3s, the #91 Team AAI ADESS 03 and the #27 Nexus Infinity ADESS 03 were duelling it out for third place.
When it was time for the pit stops, the field shuffled around, with the #94 Wineurasia Motorsport Ligier JSP3 coming out on top. With Matthew Solomon at the wheel, they led until the end of the race, also setting the fastest lap of 2:00.934. The #91 made its time back up and crossed the line in 2nd place. The #67 missed the pit window by a mere 6 seconds, and had to take a stop and go penalty, which cost them valuable time in the race, but Ate de Jong still managed to take 3rd. The Nexus Infinity ADESS 03 came 4th.
With three brands represented on the LM P3 podium, this is proving to be a very interesting category to watch.
For the CN class, Neric Wei in the #68 PS Racing Ligier JS 53, though second on the grid, dropped back behind the LMP3 cars on the starting straight, the car not having the power to keep up with the acceleration of the LMP3s. He spent the race in a comfortable 5th overall, before handing it over to Sebastien Mailleux at the halfway mark, who brought it home, happy that the car made it to the end of the race.
In the GTCup class, the #77 Team NZ Porsche GT3 Cup could finally show its colours in the race, having missed out on a few sessions. Starting from the back of the grid, John Curran quickly made his way up the field and was leading the class by lap 2. After the pit stops, Graeme Dowsett took over, but was overtaken by Dominic Ang in the #28 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC. The #77 didn’t make it to the end of the race and stopped on track on the last lap. The #11 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC driven by pole sitter Robert Webb was 2nd, and the #98 Team Lotus HK Lotus Exige Cup R came third.
The #1 DC Racing Ligier JSP3, unfortunately could not take part in today’s sessions, after having a problem with the gear shift. They are confident they can take part in tomorrow’s race.
See you tomorrow for the 2nd race of the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup!
#94 WINEURASIA Motorsport Ligier JSP3
Aidan Read: “We started fourth after quite a tricky qualifying session this morning, with the rain overnight which soaked into the track and made things quite tricky out there. I had a good start and got up to second, then after a few laps and from there we just got a pretty stable gap to first. After the start it was about controlling the gap. The car’s been good all weekend. We’ve made some good progress in free practice. We’ve been very happy; it’s been a great day.”
Matthew Solomon: “A tribute to the boys, they did a fantastic job all weekend. We started off with the car being quite tricky to drive on Thursday and the team’s really worked on it and safe to say, the car’s pretty good. Aiden did a fantastic job in his stint, and once I got in, it was just about catching the leader, passing him and maintaining the pace and bringing it home. Well done to everyone this weekend and a big thanks to Eurasia Motorsport for putting it all together. Hopefully we can do it again tomorrow.”
#91 Team AAI ADESS 03
Ollie Millroy: “It was tough; it’s been tough all weekend. Because we’re one of the first cars from ADESS, which means that development wise, we’re quite a long way behind these guys at the moment, the key for us this weekend was to try and finish a race, so to come away second in the first race was a real good result and probably the best we could have hoped for today, and we’ll try and do the same tomorrow, and stay out of trouble, and hang onto these guys for as long as possible.
#67 PRT Racing Ginetta LMP3
Charlie Robertson: “It was a tough race, starting third behind Ollie and the CN car. Got a good start off the line and pick Ollie off on lap 2, and then just focus on getting my head down and getting the biggest lead possible before handing over to Ate. The car felt good; there are a few little changes we have to make tomorrow, but I think we had the pace there, it was definitely there during testing, we just need to unlock it now. Hopefully we can go one step higher tomorrow.”
Ate de Jong: “We were a bit late getting into the pitlane at the end of the first stint, so we ended up with a 6 second stop and go penalty, so that lost us the second place this race. For me, this is my maiden race, so I’m happy to be third, in my first race ever. So I’m very happy to have joined with Ginetta and the factory, and Charlie as a factory driver, and to be able to run in the Sprint series. I’m delighted.”
#68 PS Racing Ligier JS 52
Neric Wei: “We did quite well in qualifying, but at the start, our car was just left behind because of the acceleration on the straight. After that, I thought I’ll just stick to my own and enjoy the race, before I handed over to Sebastien. It was a good race.”
Sebastien Mailleux: “I think the goal was really to finish. We had a couple of issues over the past days, the car handled very well. We’re just taking it slowly, and surprisingly we had quite a good pace, which was surprising and delightful to see at the end. I’m very happy to have finished the first race and get the points, and I hope that tomorrow we can do the same thing again.”
#28 Team Lotus HK Lotus Evora GTC
Anthony Chan: “This is the first time we’ve raced in the Asian Le Mans. It’s been a great experience.”
Dominic Ang: “I did the second stint, and we were second behind the Porsche at the start, who I managed to catch after a few laps, about halfway through the stint. Then I brought the car back home. I’d like to thank Team Lotus HK and Anthony for letting me drive with them and I’m glad to be with the Asian Le Mans Sprint Series, and to win the first round.
Wineurasia Motorsport车队的里德（Aidan Read）和苏诚峻（Matthew Solomon）驾驶Ligier JSP3赛车在雪邦国际赛车场赢得了亚洲勒芒冲刺杯第一场比赛的冠军。Team AAI车队车手米罗伊（Ollie Millroy）驾驶91号ADESS 03赛车获得第二，PRT Racing车队的罗伯森 (Charlie Robertson) 和勇（Ate de Jong）驾驶67号Ginetta LMP3赛车获得第三。CN组中，PS Racing车队的蔚超音和麦礼斯（Sebastien Mailleux）驾驶68号Ligier JS 53赛车获得冠军。Team Lotus HK车队的陈健强和洪（Dominic Ang）驾驶28号Lotus Evora GTC获得GTCup组冠军。
上午的两节排位赛情况很棘手。赛道潮湿，但又不足以定为雨战。这对大家都很公平，也能从中看出正赛中的竞争将会十分激烈。因为队友陈俊杉周五突发肠胃炎，Team AAI车队车手米罗伊只能独自出战，他驾驶91号 ADESS 03做出了2分20秒057的圈速，第一场比赛中将从杆位发车。PS Racing车队的蔚超音驾驶68号Ligier JS 53赛车做出全场第二快圈速，展示了CN组赛车的强劲实力。驾驶11号Lotus Evora GTC赛车的Team Lotus HK车手韦伯（Robert Webb）获得GTCup组杆位。
在第二节排位赛中，Wineurasia Motorsport车队的苏诚峻延续昨天的上佳表现，驾驶94号Ligier JSP3赛车做出2分18秒852的最快圈速，获得杆位。CN组的麦礼斯驾驶PS Racing车队Ligier JS 53赛车做出了2分21秒743的全场第二快圈速，之后跑大了冲上砂石，带出红旗，排位赛因此提前结束。Team Lotus HK车队的洪驾驶Lotus Evora GTC拿下GTCup组杆位，做出了2分28秒881的圈速，全场第四，周日比赛他将从第四位发车。
亚洲勒芒冲刺杯的第一场比赛在午后的骄阳下开始。PRT Racing车队的罗伯森驾驶67号 Ginetta LMP3从第三位发车，起步不错，迅速升到第一位，而杆位发车的米罗伊掉到第三，驾驶94号赛车的里德位列第二。
前半程比赛中，前列车手比拼激烈。PRT Racing车队的67号Ginetta LMP3和Wineurasia Motorsport车队的94号Ligier JSP3角逐第一名，他们身后不远是另外两台LMP3组的赛车在争第三名，分别是Team AAI车队的91号ADESS 03和Nexus Infinity的27号ADESS 03。
到进站时间段时，格局重排，Wineuroasia Motorsport车队的94号Ligier JSP3攀升至第一。苏诚峻驾车领先至比赛结束，并做出2分00秒934的全场最快圈速。91号赛车第二个冲线。61号赛车错过了进站时间段，晚了六秒，被罚通过维修区。尽管损失了宝贵时间，但勇仍然进入三甲。Nexus Infinity的ADESS 03获得第四。
CN组中，PS Racing车队的蔚超音驾驶68号Ligier JS 53从第二位起步，然而因为与LMP3组别速度相差悬殊，一起步就掉在了LMP3组之后。他很舒服地跑完比赛，获得第五，随后交给麦礼斯。麦礼斯保持名次，很高兴看到赛车完赛。
GTCup组中，Team NZ车队的77号保时捷GT3 Cup在错过练习和排位环节之后，终于在比赛中一展身手。从末位发车，库伦（John Curran）迅速发力，从群车中突围，第二圈之后，已经上升至组别第一。进站时段过后，多塞特（Graeme Dowsett）接棒，但被驾驶28号Lotus Evora GTC的Team Lotus HK车队车手洪超越。最终77号未能完赛，在比赛最后一圈时停在了赛道上。驾驶11号Lotus Evora GTC获得组别杆位的Team Lotus HK车队车手韦伯获得第二，Team Lotus HK车队的98号Lotus Exige Cup R获得第三。
DC Racing车队的1号Ligier JSP3因为遇到变速箱问题，缺席了今天的排位赛和第一场正赛。他们有信心能够参加明天的比赛。